ESL and WESA have announced the details of the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Pro League in 2017 which will see a bolstered $2 million (£1.6m) prize pool.
This is a notable 25% increase on last season in terms of prize pool with the aim of ensuring a bigger and better competition. 2017 will also see the first offline finals held in the US in Dallas. The ESL CSGO Pro League has grown in terms of both viewership and live attendance year on year, and this increase should see that growth continue.
The fifth season of the ESL Pro League will get underway on Tuesday February 7, 2017 and will conclude with the global offline finals set to take place at the Verizon Theatre in Dallas, Texas on June 3-4. This will be the first stand-alone ESL Pro League Finals held in the United States — a fitting location, as the recently crowned Season 4 champions Cloud9 are from North America, which is currently the region driving the largest amount of growth in the esports industry.
ESL Pro League Season 5 will run from February to May with the Finals in June and Season 6 will be held from August to November with the Finals in December. To ensure that all teams can participate in other tournaments, next year’s schedule has been built taking already announced events and leagues into consideration, with Pro League matches happening Tuesday to Thursday every week.
Ulrich Schulze, VP Pro Gaming at ESL commented: “The ESL Pro League Season 4 Finals once again showcased world class CS:GO in a thriving esports region. ESL brought more than 6,000 happy visitors to Sao Paulo and broke our viewership records for Pro League. We are excited to continue this growth and improvement in 2017 with an even larger global reach and increased prizing.”
Ken Hershman, Commissioner and Executive Chairman of WESA added: “We are continuing to make Pro League bigger and better. Through increased prize money, expanding the regions to introduce new teams, and holding our Season 5 Finals in the United States, we are confident that 2017 will be the most exciting year in Pro League’s history.”
Esports Insider says: A 25% increase in the prize pool is not to be sniffed at, whilst it’s a logical decision for the offline finals to be held in the States. Cloud9 will look forward to defending their title on home turf.